A Dive into Teacher Cutbacks


Kate Fairbairn

A few of Plant’s teachers have been sadly cut back. For reasons you would never expect.

As some may know, Plant lost a few teachers due to teacher cutbacks. How come? At the end of basic on the schools’ course request from Plant’s students in the spring, students sign up for their classes, the school puts it into a scheduler and the district looks at the numbers. Based upon the numbers is a type of formula that the district has and so they let Plant keep what the school has for classes for the time being. Unfortunately, when students change classes and drop classes to either go to virtual, dual enrollment, or they leave the school then Plant has fewer numbers and has to cut classes. This is what happened recently in particular with Math, the Department of Education cut a lot of math classes out. Now Plant has minimal math classes that kids can take.

Furthermore, students go from algebra 1, geometry, to algebra 2 or in whereas the past students went from algebra, liberal arts, geometry, then to math or college writing. Plant has some filler classes so, for some classes, there are different levels, this is why Plant’s Math department was hurt the most. So, this is why Plant ends up losing math teachers but when you look at the amount of the number of virtual periods that students have been taking this year. there are over 1000 virtual periods, which calculates out to five teachers so this is why when students take classes off campus, where there’s Florida virtual school, Hillsborough virtual school, and dual enrollment that means the school is going to have fewer teachers on campus. This is dictated by what students choose, not by the principal. Ultimately, if students take more classes on campus and want to keep Plants’ teachers then students should take their classes on campus. It is okay for students to take virtual classes but it is strongly encouraged for students to take their core classes on campus.

For example, when August rolls around everybody gets their schedules, kids start talking and they start dropping classes. This is where the cuts come in, after the 5th day the district starts to look at the numbers. When the district starts looking at the numbers and says Plant has classes of 15 in math and the class size average is at 25 or 27 Plant looks at where to cut. This is what resulted in losing three teachers. When teachers need to be cut, personnel services determine who that person is. Sometimes it’s based on their evaluation score, whether teachers are on leave, and that teachers are in that position, but there are various reasons. However, that information comes from personal services to be then sent to HR and then to the principal, so this is not determined by the principle either way. So basically, the principle just follows the direction of what the district tells Plant to do. Not to worry, when teachers do happen to get cut, they go into a pool of other teachers to then get selected to teach at other schools which may have a shortage.

Unfortunately, since everyone wants to come to plant, we don’t have a problem with a shortage of teachers like other schools may do. Due to students switching to virtual or online classes a few teachers had to be cut. What happens after? Principal Kimi Hellenburg states “It was it’s hard as a principal to tell someone that you’re not going to be here when you told them back in the spring that you were. It is a rough position to have to tell a teacher but teachers don’t lose their job, the teacher can go into a pool. There are so many vacancies at other schools they can go to, when they go to a pool they go to a site and they pick what school they want to go to so it’s not like they lost their job. This year is how things are going to have to be because of the number of kids and what we have in the number of virtual peers,” said Hellenberg.